A graduate of Memorial University’s Civil Engineering Program, Mike Roberts moved to Halifax expecting to work in infrastructure construction: buildings, roadways, or offshore platforms. But when he learned about the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program at Irving Shipbuilding, he realized his future might be in shipbuilding.
Irving Shipbuilding is the Canadian Surface Combatant Prime Contractor and will build all 15 ships at Halifax Shipyard. The Canadian Surface Combatants are a brand-new class of ship for Canada and will be the largest and most sophisticated warship ever built in Canada.
Mike says he was fascinated by Irving Shipbuilding’s role in building Canada’s future combat fleet. He applied and soon found himself a member of the Combat Systems team.
As a Junior Systems (Command & Control) Engineer, Mike’s role is helping develop the Combat Management System (CMS) for the CSC. The CMS collects data from the ship’s combat equipment, analyzes it, and makes informed decisions on how to react to threats. The CMS needs to collate this data, evaluate the threat, and determine which weapon system is optimal to eliminate it.
One of the best parts of Mike’s job is working alongside and learning from teammates with a wealth of knowledge.
“I get to work with people who were in the Navy for 25-plus years, who spent a large portion of their career on aircraft carriers, underwater on submarines, or on other warships. These individuals have a vast spectrum of combat knowledge and I’m fortunate to be in a role where I can learn from them,” he says.
Because the CMS interfaces with almost every piece of combat equipment on the ship, Mike has had the opportunity to be involved in sub-system work, expanding his knowledge and experience. His main sub-system involvement is with Maritime Remote Autonomous Systems, ensuring the unmanned vehicle systems (including underwater, surface, and aerial vehicles) are integrated into the ship’s CMS.
Mike is proud of his involvement in the Canadian Surface Combatant program and is looking forward to the future.
“This warship will be fitted with cutting-edge technology when it’s built in the future,” he says. “While first steel is still a few years away, it’s exciting to be a member of the team making the ground level decisions for how the future fleet will operate.”
Learn more about the rewarding careers with Irving Shipbuilding here.